Pressed Cuban Sandwiches

cuban-sandwich-005The Cuban Sandwich is a delicious combination of roasted pork, ham, cheese, mustard and pickles on sliced Cuban bread.  It is heated and pressed in a “plancha”, which is like a panini press without the ridges.   The sandwich was popular among Cuban factory workers both in Cuba and Florida in the early 1900s, and was often sold from street carts.  Today, Cuban sandwiches are still very popular all over Florida (and beyond) and are served in a wide variety of restaurants. 

Recently, I had several leftover slices of grilled pork tenderloin from a weekend barbeque and decided to make my own version of a Cuban sandwich.  I didn’t have Cuban bread, but I did have some sliced multi-grain anadama bread which I thought would work nicely (anadama bread originated in  New England and is characterized by its dark color, which comes from molasses).  I also opted for a mild cheddar instead of the traditional Swiss, and skipped the pickles simply because I don’t like them.  I used my ridged panini press instead of swapping out the plates for the smooth “griddle” style ones, but that was only because I like the way the little grill lines look.  I’d already bucked tradition by omitting the pickles and Cuban bread, so a few ridges certainly weren’t going to hurt anyone!

Pressed Cuban Sandwichcuban-sandwich-001

Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices hearty bread

3-4 thin slices pork tenderloin or roasted pork (a great way to use leftovers!)

2 thin slices deli ham

1-2 slices cheese (Swiss or mild cheddar)

1 teaspoon country-style Dijon mustard

1-2 teaspoons butter or butter spread, at room temperature

Preheat a panini press (or other contact grill, like a George Foreman Grill) to medium-high heat.

Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread, and spread the mustard on the other side.

Lay one slice of bread, buttered side down, on the panini press.  Layer with the pork, ham, and cheese, and top with remaining slice of bread (this time, buttered side UP).

Close the panini press and heat for approximately 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Cut on the diagonal (that’s traditional for this sandwich) and serve warm.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.


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3 Responses to “Pressed Cuban Sandwiches”

  1. Tracy Says:

    This sounds great! If I wanted to make it with the pickles, which kind would I use, and how much? Thanks!

  2. Tracy Says:

    Sliced dill pickles—I think you can buy them pre-slied in a jar. Just use enough to make one layer on the sandwich—maybe 3-4 depending on how big they are. Good luck and enjoy!!!!

  3. Tracy Says:

    Thank you!

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